MacDougall's Russian Art Auctions 1-2 Dec 2010

1 December 2010

Artist Index / Full Catalogue

Instructional Poster for "Dynamo"

* 57. LEBEDEV, VLADIMIR 1891-1967

Instructional Poster for "Dynamo" c. 1929-30

Pencil, watercolour and black ink on paper, 33.5 by 46.5 cm
18,000-25,000 GBP

The design of visual propaganda for the young Land of the Soviets was an important, indeed the paramount occupation for all Soviet artists. It was usually top-class, fully-trained professionals who were accepted to work on visual aids in the military and sports areas. Many of these also achieved success with their easel works and participated in art exhibitions across the country. Such was the outstanding Leningrad master Vladimir Lebedev who, as is well known, received commissions from the Dynamo sports society in 1929 and 1930. It was for this organisation that the artist created the instructional poster now on offer.

The main requirement of a mass teaching aid of this kind is a thorough knowledge of military subjects and a detailed, delicate draughtsmanship, facilitating speedy and accurate teaching. The Red Army soldiers in Lebedev’s poster are painted in watercolour. Each “pin-point” touch of the brush recreates details of the clothes, of the figures’ bulk, their weapons and even the basics of handling the weapons, easily understood thanks to the use of bodily gesture. Such filigree perfection and finish would be the envy of any disciple of Filonov. This unique work not only demonstrates the highly developed graphic culture of Vladimir Lebedev, his capability as a draughtsman and watercolourist, but is also a valuable document of its time.

Notes on symbols:
* Indicates 5% Import Duty Charge applies.
Ω Indicates 20% Import Duty Charge applies.
§ Indicates Artist's Resale Right applies.
† Indicates Standard VAT scheme applies, and the rate of 20% VAT will be charged on both hammer price and premium.